Sound — 6
Sound isn't that bad but it is nowhere near as breathtaking as past releases from Weezer. If I can think of a few songs that stand out on this album, it would be "Beverly Hills" (which I'll admit wasn't a very impressive single, but it sort of grew on me), "Perfect Situation" (by far the best track on the album, however it doesn't hold a candle to anything done on Maladroit - a very underrated album, I might add, or even the Green Album for that matter - at least that album eventually grew on you) and "We Are All On Drugs" (catchy, but again, not much compared to previous works). The rest of the songs don't stand out at all. Most of the songs generally have good quality (at least compared to most crap that's played on the radio), but none of them jump out at you like all the songs on the Blue Album or Pinkerton. It just felt like an album full of fillers.
Lyrics — 4
The lyrics were seriously lacking in this album, to be frank. It also kills me to say this considering I've been a huge Weezer fan for quite some time. But I don't think any of us can really 'pardon' Rivers for doing 'Pardon Me.' Rivers has always apparently been a tortured and troubled individual, but with past releases, he expressed that with a type of self-glorification and dignity. This song just kind of sounds like he's groveling, crying and begging for mercy, and I've never known Weezer to do that kind of thing. The lyrics seriously sound like they were rushed on this album. I'm also very surprised to find that Rick Rubin had a hand in this. I thought most artists used to count on him for bringing the best out of them. Then again, Rubin himself did say that Weezer was probably 'the most difficult band he ever worked with.'
Overall Impression — 4
Rivers seriously needs to get his ass out of Harvard and into the studio because this is by far the most lackluster sounding album that Weezer has put out. It also disturbs me to know that Rivers literally has a library of hundreds of songs that he wrote, and out of all those songs he settled with these selections. I think a warning of what was to come from this album was when it was expressed in a Rolling Stone interview that Rivers was thinking about titling the album 'Either Way It's Fine' When I read that, I said, "wait a minute! back up! Don't tell me that the mastermind of one of the best rock bands out there right now is compromising with his work!" Well, let's face it. Every great band at one point is going to hit an album where it's just not gonna click (cases in point: Smashing Pumpkins-Adore, KoRn-Take A Look In The Mirror, Red Hot Chili Peppers-One Hot Minute). It had to happen to these guys sooner or later. All in all, I would have to say that even though it has a few catchy tunes, this album was a pretty big disappointment especially since I've been waiting for this release for a couple years like many other Weezer fans. Let's just hope they pick it up the next album. If there will be one.